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Illinois lawmakers are feeling pressure from their constituents, many of whom have been adversely affected by the now 10-day-long partial government shutdown.
"This is causing real fear and ral pain for people in my district," said Democratic Representative Bill Foster of Naperville, who represent's Illinois' 11th district. Included in Foster's district are Argonne National Laboratory and Foster's former employer, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, both of which are make emergency contigency plans for furloughs should the government shutdown extend into the coming weeks.
Foster recently introduced a bill to close the members-only gym for the House of Representatives. His office and the office of Democratic Rep. William Enyart, representative of Illinois' 12th district, both report hundreds of calls about the shutdown, the majority of which are people who want the government to reopen; few callers are seeking to end the Affordable Care Act, one of the key goals of many Republican members of Congress.
Enyart is giving out Republican House Speaker John Boehner's office phone number and urging constituents to phone the speaker and tell him "to put America and its government back to work."
Boehner and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, who represents Illinois' 6th district, met with President Obama yesterday to discuss ending the partial government shutdown and extending the country's authority to borrow money. The President met earlier with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and other leading Democrats; Durbin called the failure to raise the debt ceiling "irresponsible and reckless."
Meanwhile, Boehner's office released a statement after his meeting with the President saying "we are pleased there was an opportunity to sit down and begin a constructive dialogue tonight."
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune